Sunday, January 2, 2011

DnD: The Docks and the Thieves District

To the west of the River Gar is the River Gish, a thin tributary of the Gar that curls through the western wall and snakes through the streets of Leoden before finally joining the Gar along the southern curve of the wall.  For a distance of nearly two miles the two rivers run closely along at a distance of between three fourths and one half miles before finally joining.  The entirety of the land between these two rivers is filled with docks and warehouses, where goods coming down the two tributaries or coming up from the Midearth Sea are loaded and unloaded, either to be sent off to other lands or packed onto caravans to trade among the forests and countryside.  The Merchants Quarters lie across the river from the docks, connected by four massive, curving bridges.  It is here that the merchants are most often seen outside the bounds of their compounds, surrounded by heavily armed guards, directing the unloading and accounting of their goods and wares. 
On the other side of the Gish is the Thieves District, which goes all the way to the western wall.  The entrance along this side of the wall, called the Thieves Gate, is rarely used, and fallen greatly into disrepair.  For who would want to announce to their presence in Leoden by passing through the Thieves Gate?  The rest of the city has little reason to see to the Gate's upkeep; the entirety of the thieves district is cut off form the rest of the city by the path of the River Gish.  If the Thieves Gate were to be breached by some traveling Horde, the city would merely burn the bridges between along the River Gish and defend themselves from there, as they do along the River Gar's southern bend. 
In addition, the Gatehouse of the Thieves Gate is controlled and operated by a loose collective of humans, goblins, and halfelves called the Naysayers, considered a guild by some, but a gang by others, who charge a fee 10 copper pieces (or one silver, but who has that?) for entry through the gate.  It seems impossible that the Naysayers could actually turn a profit merely by running the gate, and most assume that the Naysayers collect protection money from various residents of the Thieves District, however, no one outside the District has shown any interest in either proving or punishing this activity. 
In truth, the Thieves District is not populated solely by thieves.  In fact, some of the best thieves in the city make a point of never setting foot in the Thieves District: after all, what is there to steal?  The Thieves District is merely the poorest section of the city, a cloistered ghetto to which the poorest of all the races are forced to reside, and where there is much need, there is much crime.  Anyone who goes out after dark in the Thieves District is either very brave, or very stupid. 
The Thieves District is also the most heavily integrated area of the entire city.  Unlike the City's eastern side, with its enclaves of Halfings, Dwarves, Humans, and Elves, nearly every street in the Thieves District contains a plethora of races.  Any who make their way there have no thoughts of where they reside, only if they will have a place to reside.  The only two races with any nominal enclaves in the Thieves District are the Lemurians (kobolds) who count several blocks to themselves along the District's southern edge, and goblins, who reside along the northern edge, near the wall.  This is not to say that Lemurians and goblins are limited only to these two regions, of course, merely that these are the only regions where they predominate.  Neither race is trusted enough by the other races to have yet established themselves among legitimate society, and while the Lemurians have made inroads among the other races in terms of appearing "not all bad,"  the fierce enmity between the goblins and the dwarves ensures the former's perpetual isolation.

Dnd: One Merchant Among Many

One such merchant is Aergon Og'Hir.  Aergon, a human, is taller and lighter-haired the native stock of the region, as he has some ancestry that traces quite recently to the far Northwestern Lands.  There is also a certain archness to his features, which leads many who meet him to assume he may have some elf-blood in him, though if he does, it has had no effect on his towering height.  Aergon Og'Hir is nearly seven feet all.
Aergon Og'Hir's residence is one of the largest compounds in the Merchants Quarters.  It sits upon the river's edge, it's outer wall forming a sheer extension from the walled banks below.  Within this bank is a small cave, leading into an underground docking bay, in which Og'Hir is able to receive small, unmasted ships, although for what purpose is not commonly known.  Within the walls, there is a large, opulent pleasure garden, containing hanging vines and exotic trees with wooden walkways passing across their branches.  The central house is a large, stone mansion that rises five stories high from the center of the compound, though it is connected by intricate trellises to small guest houses that grow out of the outer walls, one on each side.  The walls are also supported on each corner by tall, thin towers, which are lit from within by watchgaurds at all hours of the night.
Og'Hir seems to have no special product that he focuses on trading.  He is known to possess several ships that dock around Leoden, and these ships bring in exotic goods from all around the world.  However, it is a common rumor around the city that Og'Hir himself has an interest in rare magical artifacts, and may even be willing to pay for such items no questions asked.